At the end of December, a total of 152 Palestinian children were imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, a decrease of 2.5 percent from November.
The number of young children detained between the ages of 14 and 15 was 10. There were no children detained in the Israeli military court system under 14 years old.
Ill-treatment & torture continue unabated in 2014
Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last year again fell victim to a pattern of abuse designed to coerce confessions, according to Defense for Children International Palestine research.
Among the most troubling experiences were prolonged periods of solitary confinement solely for interrogation purposes, which amounts to torture under international law. In 2014, the average time an individual child spent in solitary confinement for interrogation purposes was 15 days, according to DCIP research. In one case, Israeli authorities kept a child in isolation for 26 total days.
Data compiled by DCIP from 107 affidavits of Palestinian children, ages between 12 and 17, detained in 2014, showed the vast majority had to fend for themselves. In 93 percent of cases, children were deprived of legal counsel, and rarely informed of their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination.
DCIP research shows that children arrive to Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived. More than three-quarters of child detainees endure some form of physical violence between the period of their arrest and interrogation, with half of them also strip searched.
Israel is the only state to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process.
Recent amendments to Israeli military laws concerning children have had little to no impact on their treatment during the critical 24 to 48 hours after an arrest, where most of the ill-treatment occurs at the hands of soldiers, policemen and interrogators. Read more.
» Read the Detention Bulletin: Issue 57 – November/December 2014